Telecom manager dismisses assault charge

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Katima Mulilo

The manager of Telecom in Katima Mulilo, Raymond Sezuni, who stands accused of assaulting 69-year-old Chaze Nzehengwa has denied beating the old woman. He insists he merely pushed her in self-defence after she repeatedly insulted and attacked him with a burning piece of wood.
An argument erupted between the two last Thursday evening over the use of a shared water point that supplies water to Sezuni and Nzehengwa’s respective villages.

The feud centres around priority – about who should pump water first from a water pump installed by the Department of Rural Water Supply in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry located in Nzehengwa’s village.

The pump is meant to help rural communities access potable water.
Nzehengwa accused Sezuni of harassing her since as far back as 2003 leading to the subsequent alleged assault last week. Sezuni had to spend the whole weekend in police custody following the incident and he was only released on bail of N$1 000 on Monday.

However it has emerged Sezuni has in turn opened a case against Nzehengwa over the same incident. “I opened a case immediately after being released on bail. That woman attacked me with a piece of burning wood and ended up inflicting a scar on my hand. All I did was to push her away from me in self-defence. She continued to charge towards me with another piece of wood and I warned her to stop,” said Sezuni who showed New Era his wound.

Sezuni stated he was disappointed with the publication of the story without his sidebeing told, adding that the claims made by Nzehengwa are not true.

“This story has tarnished my image. I am now seen as a bad person but this is not what happened on the ground. The story has put me in an awkward position,” bemoaned Sezuni.
He was particularly perturbed by the fact that, according to to him, he has gone out of his way to help Nzehengwa whenever possible but she continues to cause trouble for him, adding that Nzehengwa is “mentally unstable”.

“That water point is a community water point even though it’s located on her land. Three villages are connected. I have even spent money on diesel and other necessities out of goodwill. She is a psychiatric patient. As you might be aware I am a livestock farmer, my cattle need water and she refused my workers permission to use the water,” he said.

According to Sezuni he personally called the police to “go and see for themselves” what was happening, adding that the bad remarks made by Nzehengwa and her family against him upon his release from custody prompted him to open a counter-charge of assault against her.
“I called the police myself on that night and they saw for themselves what transpired. I did not even touch her,” he said.

The charges laid by Sezuni were confirmed by the Katima Mulilo Police Station commander, Chief Inspector Shebby Lukopani.

“Yes I know that he opened a case even though I don’t have the CR number with me right now. An arrest will depend on investigations and it should be the last option, as just locking up someone without concrete proof may result in a lawsuit,” said Chief Inspector Lukopani.

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